CHEER ME UP, CHEER ME ON:
Cheer Me Up, Cheer Me On is an exhibition of new and existing work from multimedia artist Valerie George (she/her). Building on a body of work, entitled Welcome to My Party, that documents her experience of breast cancer at various stages of treatment through multimedia installation and photography, Cheer Me Up, Cheer Me On pays homage to performance within the artist’s punk cultural lineage to unpack the ongoing transformation of her body and spirit. By interweaving the aesthetics of celebration, punk music and culture, with nods to art historical references (17th century Dutch still life painting, 15th-century Italian paintings of the Reclining Venus, Body Art of the 1970s) George expresses sarcasm, humor, and resolve to articulate a deeply personal narrative. The result is a ‘party’— a complex vehicle for mourning and celebration alike— and an address on gender, pain, bodily autonomy, and feminine power, full of candor.
Cheer Me Up, Cheer Me On was on view at ACAC July 10 - December 12, 2020.Valerie George is an artist whose work over the past 20 years has reflected holistically on art and life in the form of installation art, video, performance, sound, sculpture, photography, new media, drawing, collaborative projects, and curatorial practices. George received her MFA from University of California, Davis and is a Full Professor of Art at the University of West Florida, Arts Editor of Panhandler Magazine: A Journal of Art and Literature, and on the Board of Directors of the 309 Punk Museum Project.